Ace Trainer Australia’s Primal Clash Picks
With the release of one of the biggest sets of Pokemon cards in recent years, a few of us here at Ace Trainer Australia thought it would be a good idea to share our thoughts on some of our favourite cards.
Ace Trainer Anthony on Dive Ball
“Search you deck for a Water Pokémon, reveal it, and put it into your hand. Shuffle your deck afterward.”
Dive Ball is a new search item to add to the family and not a moment too soon after losing Level ball and Heavy Ball to the rotation. Search items and effects are the subject of some of my favourite cards, boosting the consistency of many different types of decks.
The playability of Dive Ball of course is dictated by the playability of water type Pokémon now and into the future. With the strength of some cards now (Empoleon, Blastoise, Keldeo EX) and cards we’re to receive in the near future (Swampert, Primal Kyogre EX) I am sure that Dive Ball will soon feature in a number of decks.
Ace Trainer Daniel on Bunnelby and Diggersby
Ace trainer Daniel here and along with my fellow Ace Trainers I’m going to take a look a some cards that are going to be released as part of the upcoming Primal Clash set.
Now I’ve decided to share my opinions on two cards from primal clash because they go hand in hand and do similar things, they are Bunnelby (121) and Diggersby (90). These two may not be the first cards you think of when looking at the new Primal Clash set but they caught my eye and I’d like to explain to you why.
Looking at Bunnelby you will notice is has one of the new Primal abilities, Barrage. Barrage allows the pokemon with this ability to attack twice per turn which is a handy ability when looking at its attacks. Bunnelby’s first attack, ‘Burrow’ is what caught my eye. For one colourless energy Burrow discards the top card off your opponents deck, doesn’t sound like much but when combined with its primal ability that’s a guaranteed 2 cards discarded off the the top of your opponents deck each turn. Discarding cards off your opponent’s deck or ‘milling’ has always been a less conventional way of trying to defeat your opponent but Durant proved in 2011 it can be a winning strategy.
Going hand in hand with Bunnelby’s Burrow attack is Diggersby’s attack ‘Ear Dig’. Ear Dig, for one Fighting energy, reads: flip a coin until you flip tails, for each heads discard the top card off your opponents deck. Now potentially Diggersby can discard infinite cards but is more likely to discard one or two cards.
For these cards to work, and I believe they can, they would have to be in a deck built similarly to how you would build a Seismitoad EX deck. The deck would center around disruption cards such as hammers, head ringer, team flare grunt and lasers which would allow you to slow your opponents setup all while discarding cards of the top of their deck. I would also use life dew as the ace spec of choice, forcing your opponent to knock out 7 Pokemon to win the game and that going to be tough to do when they are put on a clock from the very beginning of the game.
So there you go, a look at a couple of cards from Primal Clash that may not get a lot of attention but that definitely caught my eye and could catch a few unprepared opponents off guard.
Thankyou for your time, this is Ace Trainer Daniel and I’ll catch you next time with a tournament report from the upcoming double weekend of City Championships in Sydney.
Ace Trainer Jordan on Kingdra
Kingdra is a new 130 HP, Stage 2 Pokémon and is one of the first Pokémon with an ancient trait. For those who don’t know, an ancient trait works like an ability but it doesn’t get shut off by things such as Wobbuffet or Garbodor. Kingdra’s ancient trait is called ‘Alpha Growth’ and it allows you to attach 2 energy to Kingdra per turn rather than just 1.
Kingdra also has 2 attacks. The first attack (Gather Strength) just searches your deck for 4 energy and puts them in to your hand but the other attack (Dragon Blast) does 150 damage for 2 water energy and 1 lightning but it discards a water and a lightning energy attached to Kingdra. This attack has great synergy with Alpha Growth as it allows you to use Dragon Blast repeatedly. There are a number of cards that work well with Kingdra such as Silver Bangle and Training Center – with these 2 cards in play Kingdra deals 180 damage and has 160 HP, making Kingdra a fierce, non-EX attacker. With the help of cards such as Kingdra PHF and Energy Retrieval to recycle energy, Kingdra could become one of the strongest stage 2 attackers in the format.
Ace Trainer Chris on Teammates
You can play this card only if 1 of your Pokemon was Knocked out during your opponents turn.
Search your deck for up to 2 cards and put them into your hand, shuffle your deck afterwards.
Teammates is a supporter that is effectively a more balanced Twins from the HGSS-era. It lets you search your deck for any two cards with the drawback that you need to lose a Pokemon in the process to use this card (with Twins you had to be down on prizes to use it). It also takes up your supporter for the turn (Dual brains Magnezone anyone?)
There is a way around the loss of a Pokemon problem thanks to our trusty friend from Phantom Forces “Robo Substitute”. If Robo sub is knocked out you can still use Teammates and effectively get two cards for free. A deck that immediately comes to mind which can take advantage of this are Donphan variants.
Many other decks can make use of this card but I truly feel that Night March benefits most from it, sending out a poor Joltik to die only to get you two battle compressors or a battle compressor and a Double Colorless Energy or any other sort of combo of cards can really put you in a strong position.
Will this card replace computer search in decks? Probably not – having an Ace Spec that searches your deck for any 1 card while having your supporter for the turn still open is still strong in this format however I expect to see this card played in most decks this coming season, only time will tell if it becomes a game changer.
Ace Trainer Jake on Mega Aggron EX
Mega Aggron EX is a beast. This Pokemon boasts a bulky 240 HP (only now beaten by Wailord EX), an attack that can do up to 240 damage and compatibility with Bronzong, making it a lethal combination to be worried about upon Primal Clash’s release. Not much can survive that damage output short of using a Hard Charm on another 230+HP Mega, meaning Aggron will be a meta changing card.
The only drawback on it’s attack is that you need to flip heads to do that insane level of damage. This can be easily prevented by using a Mr. Mime PLF, Mountain Ring, or even using the new Fresh Water Set Item card to remove all the damage done. We’ve seen how Mega Manectric EX has been dominating City Championships in Australia thanks to efficient energy use and a Spirit Link card. Now Mega Aggron EX has a devestating attack, along with a Spirit Link of its own, this card will wreak havoc across the game, and I will certainly be trying this in all of my Metal decks I make.
So there you have it, our thoughts on some of our favourite cards in the next set. We wish you the best of luck at pre-releases and would love to hear about your favourite cards too.